Last week Gene showed us some photos of his trip to Australia with his wife, Smoopy and special guest stars, Tim “Clacky” Clack, Shannon, a couple of Koala bears and that asshole bird that moved from the Bronx Zoo to the land down under. And now here’s part two, take it away Gene!
Thursday, 28 Nov, 1:36pm—It’s Thanksgiving! (Which is obviously not celebrated here.) Smoopy and I have decided to take a day trip to Sydney! We hopped on the train in Newcastle for the 2 hour, 45 minute ride, and arrived just after noon. This is one of the first pictures I took with my new camera I bought when we got off the train. I think this is an Australian White Ibis—they are a pain in the ass, begging for food and even trying to steal it right out of your hand. They should get one of these at the Bronx Zoo to join forces with that other asshole bird!
1:45pm—Darling Harbour, Sydney. It’s a lovely 85 degree day today. Awesome to be out and about!
1:46 pm—Nothing says Christmas like a hanging Santa, palm trees, and a holiday tree!
2:07pm—We got on a shuttle boat from Darling Harbor to Sydney Cove—here's a shot of some famous opera house.
2:33pm—Walking around checking out the sites here, the Opera House is around the corner to the right.
3:06pm—That's me leaning on the building. From a distance, it looks like the roof of this place is white, but it's made up of about a billion glazed white/tan tiles.
3:23pm—Paragon Hotel, Circular Quay, Sydney. I'm parched, and a little sweaty—but two Bulmers Cider schooners take care of that here!
5:39pm—The QVB, Sydney.
Friday, 29 Nov, 1:40pm—Albion Hotel, Wickham, NSW. It's now 9:40pm Thanksgiving night in the States, and we want to watch the Ravens/Steelers game that is on live—unfortunately, this place could not get the channel that the game is on. UFB to them! I quickly down my Hofbrau Dunkel and it's on to the next stop.
3:23pm—Woodey's Hamilton Hotel—"The Greenroof,” Hamilton. This was a good stop. Watched the second half of the Ravens/Steelers game, had a few cold drinks, and Smoopy got attacked by a snack machine.
5:46pm—Customs House Hotel, Newcastle. We met the Clacky's here for dinner.
9:57pm—United Services Club, Newcastle. This was an awesome pick by Mr. Tim. They are only open Thursday and Friday nights. It's not really a "bar," but a respectful VFW type place—with a lot of cool artifacts decorating the main room. The bar is on the other side of the floor. The building was built in 1884 and the Club formed in 1927.
10:00pm—Another view of the main room. We had a lot of drinks and the people were extremely nice. I felt all warm and fuzzy here.
10:17pm—Look at these two!
Saturday, 30 Nov, 2:45pm—Whew! After sleeping off that Friday night we’re headed for a leisurely beach stroll on this awesome looking Saturday afternoon!
3:27pm—Bar Beach, NSW. Smoopy has made some feathered friends here, who want some of her fish and chips...
3:32pm—This dumb bird has tartar sauce all over his beak and then he went after the ketchup. UFB!
4:29pm—Merewether Beach, NSW. Pretty!
6:09pm—Another shot above Bar Beach.
6:40pm—Walking the coastline of Newcastle. It's not flat here!
6:53pm—The Bogey Hole.
Sunday, 1 Dec, 3:52pm—Yep, a six-pack of stubbies cost $17.49 at Dan Murphy's Bottle Shop! Beer is not cheap in the bottle shops. You can buy singles—but they will run you $3.50/$5.00 each!
4:12pm—Bunt's Bar, Maryville, NSW. The Clacky's have invited us over a little get-together! We got all the booze we would need at Dan Murphy's and here we are. We have traveled 9,738 miles (15,671 km) to get here. Party!
4:27pm—Lord Bunt is getting ready also! I never did open that little bottle of Bundaberg Rum. I kept it and drank half of it on New Year's Eve. I'll save the rest for some other special occasion. Love my Bundaberg. Next trip I have to bring back as much of it as possible!
5:52pm—Everyone has arrived, and Chef Tim is firing up the grill. Left to right: Smoopy, Shannon, Baps, Tim, Dan, Gerrant, and Dan's lady friend.
5:55pm—This man knows how to prepare food!
6:10pm—Baps is just waiting for something to hit the ground.
6:16pm —Almost dinner time...
6:21pm—The last dish is ready...
7:25pm—BURP! Dinner was awesome! I'm full as a tick. Let the drinking commence!
9:41pm—Baps has called it a night—so that's the signal for everyone else to clear the F out and go home!
Good night everybody! Stay tuned for Part 3 in the future. I still have plenty of material from this trip!
The Lost Pictures!
Somehow I skipped Gene’s third email which contained these photos. My apologies to Gene and sorry it’s a little out of sync, but what are you going to do? Here they are!
Saturday, 30 Nov, 6:54pm—The Bogey Hole might be my most favorite place I saw in Australia.
6:58pm—Me and Smoops would swim in here three days later. It was great! I mostly stood on the front wall, holding onto the poles, at letting the waves crash over me. I could have stood there all day long! It was an incredible experience.
7:03pm—This might be the best photo I've ever taken, and it wasn't even with my "regular" camera ... it was with my Galaxy Note 2 phone.
7:14pm—Sunset time. We've spent all afternoon outside at the coast...time to get some beers and food!
8:08pm—Elements Cafe, Newcastle. Clacky is the chef here and there he is pouring something. We got dinner, some wine, and all was good and delicious.
10:21pm—Clarendon Hotel. We were originally going to stay here, but booked something else at the last minute before we left. This is a decent place—we would have been fine here. Nice big bar and really great bartenders. After two Boxer Red Ale's—I'm ready to end our Saturday. It was a good day!
Sunday, 1 Dec, 9:38am—Sunday morning walk time and another Smoopy shot of those weird f'ing trees.
9:47am—Smoops likes her tree shots! I'd prefer more bird shots!
1:23pm—Crown & Anchor, Newcastle. I've been out walking around and snapping photos, which usually leads me to a watering hole...and this place will fit the bill!